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tv   Wolf  CNN  June 28, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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minutes, but certainly less than 30 minutes. he said, special counsel mueller made it very clear that he was being removed from the case because of the text messages, but i was surprised that he said that neither special counsel mueller or anyone on his team asked him about the text or his expressed hatred of donald trump. he said special counsel never asked him what he meant when he sent those texts. he said that special counsel mueller never asked him if he acted upon the bias and the hatred reflected in those texts. i asked agent strzok at least half a dozen times, did special counsel mueller or anyone on his team ever ask you about these troubling text messages and whether any of your actions taken, whether any of your decisions made and whether any of the evidence you collected may have been corrupted or tainted or in any way influenced by the hatred, bias or prejudice expressed in these texts. you repeatedly and unequivocally
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said no. yes, we know that special counsel mueller removed him from the case, but what did special counsel mueller do to determine whether or how the actions taken, the decisions made and the evidence gathered by a donald trump-hating lead investigator, how that may have influenced donald trump as a subject. it wasunequivocally stated by the council and became evidence that was used by the special counsel team. if special counsel mueller was here, i know what i would ask him. he's not, but his supervisor is. so mr. deputy attorney general, what, if anything, has special counsel mueller done to determine whether the actions taken, the decisions made and the evidence collected by special agent peter strzok was impacted by his very clear hatred and bias of president
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trump? >> as i know you're aware, director mueller has vast experience both as a prosecutor and a supervisor of the fbi, so i can assure you that he understands the importance of considering any credibility issues in determining whether or not to rely upon a person. with regard to the -- >> let me stop you. what actions has he taken as his supervisor? >> we're not going to talk publicly about the substance of the investigation. >> i don't want you to do that. can you tell me whether you know he has taken steps to determine -- >> yes. director mueller has taken appropriate steps, and keep in mind, congressman -- >> let me stop you there. i'm thrilled to hear that he's taken steps. you and i are both former prosecutors. how does a prosecutor go about eliminating bias, prejudice and expressed hatred from foundational evidence? because you know, of course, that if your root evidence is fairly called into question, everything that comes from that
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evidence is fairly called into question, right? >> yes. i realize i'm just about out of time. to give a somewhat comprehensive response, as you know, when we conduct an investigation, the purpose is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prove -- the purpose is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prove a case in court. if you're going to court and you're taking a piece of evidence, you're relying upon a witness, you need to consider any issues that go to the credibility of the witness or the credibility of the evidence. and so you used the term "foundational evidence." i'm not sure exactly what you have in mind, but if, for example, director mueller were to rely upon a document that mr. strzok produced or a statement he took or were to call him as a witness, obviously you need to consider that evidence that would be evidence that would intend to impeach his credibility. director mueller knows that. i recognize we're out of time, but director mueller and i learned about this issue at the same time, and we learned about
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it from -- the inspector general brought it to our attention after he discovered it, i believe it was last july, so it was our understanding that the inspector general was conducting an investigation of mr. strzok. so the fact director mueller didn't spend a lot of time questioning him, i think that was probably appropriate because that was the inspector general's job. i don't think it took director mueller very long after seeing those text messages to decide what was the right thing to do. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler, for his questions. >> this month i wrote to both of you regarding the apparent outing in the media of a confidential human source involved in the early stages of the russia investigation. i understand that while i was on the floor just now, one of my republican colleagues had the gall to quiz you about his identity again today. in my letter i asked that you, quote, investigate this case for potential violations of the intelligence identity's protection act as well as other statutes and department guidelines designed to protect
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the lives of covert operatives and human sorturces, closed quo. last month you testified before the senate that the day we can't protect human sources is the day american people start becoming less safe. can you further and briefly explain what you mean by that statement? >> congressman nadler, in investigation after investigation in the counter-intelligence front, the counterterrorism front, the counter crimes front, human trafficking front and basically every area of enforcement that the fbi is responsible for, we rely heavily on human sources to come forward and share information with us, often to a great peril to themselves and their families. that is one of the most single and valuable important tools that we have to keep the american people safe. and it's something that we've relied on for now coming up on almost 110 years of the fbi. and if we start losing that tool
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because people don't trust us to protect their identities appropriately, the american people will be less safe. >> thank you. first of all, happy 110th birthday. it seems that chairman nunes has now asked the fbi of their identities of, quote, all undercover agents and confidential human sources, closed quote, who may have been interacting with the trump campaign. have you received this request, director? >> i am aware that we received a letter very recently from chairman nunes. i haven't looked at it closely yet. i've been doing other things. >> would it be dangerous for this information to be public, the entities and human sources that may have been active with the trump campaign? >> as i said, we're going to do everything we can appropriately to protect sources and methods. we're also going to do everything we can to be responsive to judicial oversight, and my experience has been that when both sides, both
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the congress and the executive branch, come into it with the recognition that both are important, congress needs its questions answered and sources need to be protected, and we're going to do our best to make sure we do both. >> the public revelation of those names might be dangerous. >> public revelation of source identity or anything that could lead to source identity would be dangerous. >> thank you. mr. rosenstein, in a january 2000 letter, the department outlined its long standing understanding of keeping private enforcement files. they have a truly legitimate interest in how the department enforces statutes but also notes that disclosing documents of open files could undermine the investigations that could fall into the hands of the targets of the investigation and have impact on those having access to them, closed quote. do they still guide the department's response for
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investigation? >> yesterday i wrote a lengthy letter to chairman grassley with a copy to chairman goodlatte that goes into detail and explains why this committee would not want us to turn over every document in fbi files. this committee would want us to exercise appropriate responsibility to make sure we're not damaging any case, risking the life or safety of any informant or causing harm to national security, and that's what we're doing. >> thank you. finally, mr. rosenstein, i'm sure you hear complaints that the special counsel's investigation is taking too long. i don't know what mr. mueller knows other than what he's put in his charging documents and plea agreements. everything we hear about the investigation is either leaked and made up entirely by president trump and his lawyers and then hoping to undermine the special counsel. i don't know what mr. mueller knows and most of my colleagues are similarly situated. you know the case better than anyone else. i have three brief questions. is the special counsel's investigation taking too long? has he deliberately slowed his
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pace? and when his work is done, will the american people look back and view it as a waste of time? >> sir, i can assure you that director mueller is moving as expeditiously as possible consistent with his responsibility to do it right. >> he has not deliberately slowed his pace? >> of course not. >> and when his work is done, the american people will look back and not view it as a waste of time? >> people can draw their own conclusions, sir. >> finally my last question before the bell rings, is it atypical or typical for an investigation of this magnitude to take as long as this has? >> no, sir, i don't think it's atypical at all. i believe that it's being done as expeditiously as possible. that was one of my goals in appointing someone i knew would be focused on the task, would not be distracted by other matters and would get it done right and as quickly as possible. >> so it's typical, not atypical? >> every investigation is unique, but i think for our investigations of this type, i believe it's not atypical and it's certainly not unduly long
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given the nature of the investigation. >> thank you very much. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. chavet, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. rosenstein, i had a town hall meeting last night with people back home. that's where they get to ask questions and we answer to the best of our ability. here's what one lady asked me, councilmember chavet, what is your response to the report and what do you think of hillary clinton and the e-mail investigation? what i see and hear out there among a significant portion of the american public, including the lady who asked me that question last night, is a great deal of skepticism, of mistrust of their own government, particularly mistrust of high level people within the justice department. i think there is -- i really think that's a shame.
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but i guess it shouldn't be surprising, not when you consider what they've seen from their own government in recent years. now, i happen to represent the city of cincinnati and some other areas surrounding that area, and we have an irs facility there. in that facility, likely at the direction of higher-ups in this city, washington, they were targeting conservative groups for special harassment and ignoring liberal groups. and the president of the united states, barack obama, whofrs suppos -- who was supposed to ensure that investigations of such matters were handled fairly and without bias, instead went on tv and gave his opinion and probably gave a signal to all the investigators under him that there was not even a smidgen of corruption. that was a quote from the president at the time, not even a smidgen of corruption. and the person who headed up that kbror target iimproper tar lerner, pleaded the fifth and
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refused to testify, but she was found guilty with no consequences. no wonder many americans are skeptical. they've seen an investigation of one presidential candidate, hillary clinton, that was supposed to be unbiased, but the proverbial thumb was on the scale to her benefit. she said something about an illegal mail server and swears she never sent classified e-mails, but she did and gets a pass. director comey who is supposed to be unbiased drafts a statement exonerating her before he's even interviewed her. hillary's staff gets immunity deals that smell to high heaven, hillary's operatives use hammers and bleach to destroy cell phones and e-mails, again with no consequences, and on and on. but the other presidential candidate, the one who actually won but wasn't supposed to, well, he's treated very
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differently. a team of supposedly unbiased investigators turns out to be anything but. nine out of the 16 have made political contributions, almost all to democrats, including hillary clinton and barack obama. none gave to trump. and two of them, as we've heard over and over again today, were communicating back and forth about how they were going to stop candidate trump from being elected, and even had a so-called insurance policy, a pretty sinister-sounding thing, to make damn sure he wasn't elected. so my question to you, mr. rosenstein, is this. do you see why that lady last night might believe there is bias in the justice department in how these investigations, when you compare one to the other, have been carried out? >> yes, sir, and i share your concern. as you know, i wasn't the one running the investigation in 2017. i absolutely share your concern. i understand that. and i think one of the challenges we face, and director wray and i are very familiar
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with this challenge, is that the culture of the justice department in which we operate -- there are exceptions, obviously -- but the culture in which we operate is one in which we make a conscious effort not to consider partisan issues. the way i've run my offices, i've been a manager in the justice department in a number of different capacities, at this point for about 16 years or so. and my -- i've been very attuned to this issue and i make every effort, congressman -- >> i'm running out of time. my time is very short at this point. i appreciate you weren't there. you are now, and we appreciate your hard work. so let me conclude with this. the american people, like that lady last night who asked that question on my telephone town hall meeting -- and of course she felt there was bias by the doj investigation, clearly, by the way she asked it -- i think the american people deserve a whole lot better than what they've been getting from their justice department of late. they have a right to unbiased,
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fair investigations, they have a right to expect equal treatment and equal justice whether a person that they're investigating is a democrat or a republican, whether they're conservative or liberal, whether they were expected to win an election or not, whether their name happened to be hillary clinton or donald trump. and i'm afraid that's not what happened here. and i yield back. >> congressman, as i was saying, i do share your concern. one of the challenges we face, sir, is that we operate in an environment where in our actions in the office we make every effort to avoid politics and we focus on evidence before we reach conclusions. people are getting their information from other sources and they don't always hear both sides. i think it's important, sir, this gives me and director wray an opportunity to explain the wray we run our organizations, there are going to be mistakes, but there are commitments to following the rules. there are violations in the
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rules, we understand that. we're making every effort to make sure that doesn't happen on our watch. with 155 employees, we're going to have issues as well, but i can assure you we'll deal with them appropriately. with regard to my commitment, congressman, the attorney general has been very clear about his desire to ensure that the department follows regular order. we follow these traditional rules and practices. if we adhere to these rules, there will sometimes be skeptical questions because we're not able to respond publicly to criticism. but at the end of the day, congressman, i can assure you cases we bring on our watch are going to be in compliance with the rules. so i hope that over time seeing us follow the rules, the american people will regain whatever confidence they've lost. as director wray said, these folks we work with day in and day out, they are almost all there to do the right thing, and to the extent they're not, we'll hold them accountable. >> thank you. i yield back. all right, we're going to get back to that hearing momentarily, but joining me right now is democratic congressman adam schiff.
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he's the ranking member of the house intelligence committee. congressman, they are really the republicans, the members of this committee, and we've been watching it very closely, the house judiciary committee, they're really going after rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, even threatening that he might be held in contempt, even impeachment because the justice department, they say, is failing to turn over to them documents involving the hillary clinton investigation. your reaction? >> well, wolf, this is a show, put on for the president's benefit. this is collaboration with executive masquerading as oversight. if you're going to call this oversight at all, it's the most obseqious oversight that says, we will do anything at all for the president. they gave the president an excuse to fire rod rosenstein so they can alter the course of the mueller investigation. but make no mistake, they will
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continue asking for documents in the pending investigation, something the president has no right to, so they can be fed either directly or indirectly to the president's legal defense team. this is what rudy giuliani has made so clear. it is his expectation. but more than that, they're interested in a fight with the justice department to give this president a pretext to take action against rod rosenstein. >> you saw this this morning on the president's twitter feed. he was really going after the entire russia investigation. let me read to you a couple of these tweets and get your reaction. when is bob mueller, the special counsel, leading the russia investigation, he says, when is bob mueller going to list his conflicts of interest? why is it taking so long? will they be listed at the top of his $22 million report? and what about the angry democrats? will they list their conflicts with crooked h, hillary clinton? how many people will be sent to jail and persecuted on totally unrelated charges. there was no collusion and no
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obstruction of no collusion. and what is going on in the fbi department of justice with crooked hillary, the democratic national committee and all of the lies? a disgrace of the situatiful si. he has been doing this for weeks and weeks trying to undermine the credibility of the russian probe. it does seem to be having an impact, if you look at polls, with a certain element of the american public. >> as senator corker pointed out, he has developed a certain cultlike following among some members of congress. this is his goal. it is to discredit the mueller investigation. we cannot, i don't think, be oblivious to how over the course of time, he has numbed us to these violations of policy, of norms of office, norms of behavior. wolf, this is an investigation implicating the president of the united states even in completely unrelated investigations, the president of the united states is not supposed to be dictating to the justice department how they should conduct an investigation or who they should
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investigate or how. so even doing that would violate policy, but to do it in a case involving your own liability or own exposure is just an outrageous assault on the rule of law. this is a president that says i am above the law not like any other american. for other americans who may be under investigation, they had no right to see materials on the investigative files until they're indicted and neither does this president. but sadly here, we have all too many members of congress willing to prostrate themselves in front of the executive and give him anything he wants. >> do you want to know the names of these cultlike members in the group you're suggesting? >> fouthe four members of this a apocalypse have been trey gowdy, devin nunes. they've been in the service of the president.
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and in the meantime, they do enormous damage to these institutions. ultimately they'll be held accountable. i think when this chapter is written it will condemn the president in the strongest terms, but it will also condemn this congress. and these undermine the checks and balances. >> the president tweeting once again that he has doubts that russia actually did interfere in the presidential election in 2016. he tweeted this. russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election. he's made these suggestions several times over the past year, even though obama administration officials, leaders of the intelligence community, they conclude that russia did interfere with an intention to try to help trump against hillary clinton in the election. but even the president's own intelligence chiefs, the director of national intelligence, dan coats, the former cia director, mike pompeo, now the secretary of state, and so many others, they have all said that russia not
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only interfered in the presidential election in 2016 but continues to interfere and will interfere in the midterm elections coming up in november. >> this is exactly right. it takes your breath away to consider that the president of the united states is basically disputing the conclusions, the bipartisan conclusions of his own intelligence professionals, of the members of congress and suggesting that we don't know whether the russians did it or that we should credit the word of this former kgb operative vladimir putin. it's preposterous, but it's also dangerous, because here he is about to go into some summit with vladimir putin. and what is he doing again on the eve of that? he's undermining his own countries, undermining his own intelligence agencies and saying, i am more apt to believe vladimir putin than my own people. here he is saying russia should be brought back into the g-8 without asking for anything, without asking for russia to get out of ukraine. no, this president is willing to make any concessions --
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>> why? >> well, either he is the worst negotiator in history, or there is some ulterior motive. there is some leverage russia holds over the united states. >> what do you believe? >> i don't know. it certainly may be in part due to this bizarre admiration or fascination he has with authoritarian figures, but there is a particular affinity for vladimir putin. and one of the things that i think need to be investigated by the special counsel, by the congress is whether the russians were laundering money through the trump organization. this is leverage they're applying to the president of the united states. that would be far more compromising in my view than any solacious activity. >> have you seen any evidence of that? >> we've seen testimony about the indicia of money laundering, enough to raise questions that need to be investigated. indeed, where we had allegations before of secret trump association meetings with the russians, when we did look into
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them, they proved to be all too true. this allegation we were not allowed to investigate by the republicans. i hope mueller is doing it. if not, it needs to be done. i think it's negligent for us not to know the answer. >> all right, congressman, lots to talk about. we'll continue our hearing right now, but thank you so much for coming. let's go back. rod rosenstein and the fbi director christopher wray answering questions from the house jrue dish did i committee. >> -- from the time the inspector general collected those documents. >> no one, to our knowledge, has been indicted or held criminally liable for the spillage of over 100 classified e-mails in servers or accounts. those of us wonder if the executive branch still takes seriously undermining of classical information. does anybody hold anyone accountable of spillage of
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information as secretary of state? >> the evidence is meant to consider without a reasonable doubt, and if it warranted prosecution, yes, we would prosecute it. >> how much of your job involves access to classified information? >> sir, it varies, really, from day to day or week to week, but certainly a significant component. >> but you would -- how would you characterize setting up a private server to conduct your business that would inevitably lead to classified information passing across that server. >> sir, i don't want to comment on the case. from my perspective, having been a government employee for 30 years, we do not expect government employees to conduct government business on their personal accounts. occasionally there may be exceptions, but as a general matter, the purpose of the government e-mail system is to capture all the official correspondence. >> is that gross negligence or extreme carelessness? >> i don't want to put a legal standard on it, sir.
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>> there is a legal standard. it's in the statute. >> right. your question is on anybody's conduct you need to evaluate the facts and circumstances of the case, but i trust our employees know that official business needs to be done on department of justice servers. >> what would happen to me as judiciary chairman if i set up a private server and set up all my classified information to pass through that server? >> congress has speech and debate privilege, so they're not bound by the same rules, sir, but i would hope you would not do that. >> we have repeatedly asked fbi pepp personnel whether the fact that the president has an affair is okay. it seems clear that an affair unknown to a spouse could be a significant vulnerability to an agent, special counsel a counterintelligence agent. do you agree with that? >> we have an official ethics
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code and i don't want to comment on that right now, which i think answering your question at this particular time might cause me to do. >> finally, mr. rosenstein, in light of the decision by who wi -- horowitz not to sign fisa applications, are you signing them? >> if he were absent or unavailable, or occasionally if there was a matter that he might have a conflict, then it would come to me. but there is no reason i should refrain from my responsibility to sign fisa applications when they meet the standards required by the statute. in fact, it would be a dereliction of duty for me to fail to sign a fisa with respect to the law.
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>> mr. deutsch for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. earlier, in his questioning, in his statement, mr. gowdy had some interesting things to say. he said that -- he acknowledged that russia attacked this country and that they should be the target. then he went on to say, but russia isn't being hurt by this investigation, we are. the country is being hurt by this investigation into russia's meddling in our election. i would ask general rosenstein, director wray, what is the purpose of this investigation? >> congressman, i think there are actually two different issues. the first is this investigation, which is a historical investigation of interference with the 2016 election. the second question, which i think is of tremendous importance, is what's happening now or what's going to happen in the future. i think it's important for the american people to understand this is not a one-shot deal. there are foreign countries that, on a regular basis, are attempting to infiltrate the
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american computer systems and interfere in our democracy. the fbi has a task force that is focused on this problem. it's working with officials at the department of justice and we're going to continue to do everything we can to protect the american people against this sort of abuse. >> director wray, when mr. gowdy says -- and again, i quote, my friend -- whatever you've got, finish it the hell p,can you tell me the way the fbi conducts investigations, and does it operate on the timeline that permits it to gather the evidence, all of it in full, or does it operate on the timeline established by members of the united states house? >> congressman, we are not going to do our investigation subject to any political influence by either side. we are going to do our investigations as expeditiously but responsibly as we possibly can. as i've said repeatedly, we're going to play it straight and by the book, and that would extend
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to every investigation that we have responsibility for. >> general rosenstein, you submitted a letter to senator grassley, chairman of the judiciary committee in the senate, also a letter to speaker ryan about the resolution. you actually take great length to explain the way you've been complying with congressional oversight, working diligently and in good faith to apply an unprecedented level of access that members of congress may feel are relevant. since there have been so many accusations on this, i thought it would be helpful for you to take a couple minutes explaining how it is you have been cooperative, the volume of the documents you've been provided and anything else you think would be relevant. our understanding, that would have been relevant had members had a chance to hear it before being rushed to the floor to vote on that resolution?
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>> i don't want to comment on anyone posing resolutions. if anybody was voting on me, though, you would think they wanted to know the truth before they voted. and if you wanted to know about all the things we're doing to comply with congressional subpoenas and document requests and all the many inquiries we get, you wouldn't want to talk to just me, you would have to talk to the dozens of folks who are working diligently every day trying to comply with these requests. i'm happy to take whatever blame you want to assess, that's one of my jobs, but if you want a true understanding of what we're doing, it would take a very long time. as director wray averted to, when you say 880,000 documents, it's a lot, but it still sounds just like 880,000 documents, but you're actually talking about collecting documents throughout the organization and then reviewing them to make sure there is no grand jury information, to make sure you're not exposing any informants, to make sure you're not exposing any information that the congress probably doesn't want.
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it's a complicated process and it's difficult to explain even in a minute or two. but as i said, if you actually had a full and fair review of what we're doing, i'm confident that you would recognize we're doing everything we can to comply. the way people vote or don't vote, we're going to do everything we can, because we believe, and the president has made quite clear, that he wants us to be as transparent as possible with the restrictions we have, and we're complying with that advice. >> i very much appreciate you coming. i very much appreciate you agreeing to testify under oath, and i would finally just take exception vehemently so with the assertion made by my friend mr. jordan earlier, who said, and i quote him, well, now, who are we supposed to believe? the staff members who we've worked with who have never misled us, or you guys, who we've caught hiding information from us? that's a question he asked to
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you, mr. rosenstein, as you were answering questions under oath. the only conclusion from a question like that is the suggestion you've appeared before us and under oath are lying to the members of this committee. it is offensive. it was inappropriate for my colleague to do that. i regret that he had, and i yield back the balance of my time. >> the deputy attorney general is allowed to respond if he chooses to do so. >> nogoodlatte, thank you. mr. rosenstein, i want to start by characterizing my questions. this is all relate to d to what perceive as a double standard. the double standard that people expect you to live under and the standard you all live under. 2c-194 says, it shall be the duty of said president or senate or speaker of the house in the case where they certify -- i'll get to a bottom line even
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short shorter. when we find somebody in contempt and refer it, the u.s. attorney for the district of colombia whose duty it shall be to bring the matter to a grand duty for its action. now, under both president bush and under president obama, you two and your predecessors have decided that you're going to consider "shall" as a, if i feel like it, if i consider the case worthy, i will consider the case de novo and not do it. if either of you are held in contempt, will you allow yourself, or allow the u.s. attorney, to bring that case before a grand jury pursuant to the law, or will you, like your predecessors, object? >> congressman, i am glad to say that i'm actually not familiar with that issue.
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>> you were serving in the department of justice under both these cases, the harriet meyers case and then the fast and furious where the attorney general himself was held in contempt, and they obstructed and did not allow the case to go to the u.s. attorney. you oversee u.s. attorneys including the one for the district of columbia at this point. the attorneys of the district of columbia did not make that decision, it was made simply to hold out. an obama appointee gave us the information we wanted. it was far more than the attorney general who lied to us, saw what was there, said there was and laid out the obstruction by the attorney general. so the question is, would you allow the statute to go forward that says "shall present to a grand jury" or do you believe you have the ability to be above the law, something the american people do not? >> no, sir, i do not have the ability to be above the law.
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>> good. i will take that as if you're held in contempt, it will go forward. yes and no is fine, that you don't believe you're above the law. >> correct. >> the former director of the fbi came before exactly where mr. wray was sitting, he was that far away, and he told us nowhere in the fbi did you have the capability of cracking open an iphone, and as a result, you needed to go to court, you needed to order and get an order to force apple to create a back door so that you could remotely get into it. now, that turned out to be untrue. director wray, do you have the ability, do you have a great organization or do you have the inept group that was unable to do it until shortly after his false statement here when was uncovered that for about $250 it could be done and has been done? >> congressman, certainly i think we have the premiere law enforcement and national security organization in the
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world. >> when he came here and said he exhausted all possibilities, he was not telling the truth, because shortly afterwards, very simple assets allowed that, and of course apple never had to produce it. so the question is -- let me go on because i have limited time. recently, mr. comey was given an advance copy of the inspector general's report in return for which he signed a nondisclosure agreement. he violated the nondisclosure agreement in that he contacted a new source more than four hours beforehand because it was published four hours before it was released, probably 24 to 48 hours in advance. will you agree to look into whether or not he violated that nda since there is no authority, obviously, by the inspector general? will you agree to investigate former director comey, not hold a double standard for his violation of that nondisclosure agreement? >> congressman, i'm certainly
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not going to be commenting here about whether we'll be opening or not an investigation into someone. >> so you can't say whether he's above the law or not for what he did? >> i'm sorry? >> you're not going to say whether he's above the law or not? >> i don't think there is anyone on this planet who is above the law. >> we'll see whether or not you actually open an investigation. that will tell me that. now, yesterday mr. strzok managed to have your attorney obstruct us from getting the answers we wanted by claiming that, in fact, he wasn't going to answer questions even if they were tangentially related to an ongoing investigation. do you stand by that today, that, in fact, behind closed doors and a classified setting, we are not entitled to those questions answered? >> the time of the general has expired but the witness may answer. >> i would like to answer that, yes. so congressman, i was not present, as you know, for the interview, and i understand you all talked to him for 11 or 12 hours, and i don't know the specifics of what questions were
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asked, which questions were objected to and what the context is, and in my experience as a prosecutor and as a lawyer on the other side of it, those kinds of details matter. so i really can't speak to whether or not any particular objection made sense, and i would need to know a lot more about that. i will say -- i will say -- that it is a longstanding principle recognized by the inspector general in this report that we don't discuss ongoing criminal investigations, not just publicly but with congress. >> mr. chairman, for the record, the 800,000 or so records that earlier the deputy attorney general was talking about how difficult and how long it took to produce them, is it my understanding they're being looked at in camera, and as such if there were any information of the type that they said they want to protect, those could be objected to before their release, isn't that true? >> that's correct. >> so the fact is, all of the
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objections that we've heard about the delay really don't apply when it's in camera, do they? >> i can't answer that question -- >> but perhaps one of the individuals can. >> if the attorney general would like to respond, they're happy to. >> i'm happy to respond in part, that even information that's provided in camera has to be reviewed first, for example, for grand jury secrecy which we are prohibited from disclosing. there are some things we have to review for even to put it in the in-camera room legally. there are other things that remain based on a discussion with the chairman and his staff that would be relevant to any subsequent production. so you're partially right, but there are significant things that have to get reviewed for before it goes in the meeting room, legally. >> mr. chairman, i understand the issue of contempt. i'm not familiar with a particular statute and what the public policy has been.
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i have the advantage of being a lawyer for 38 years and a prosecutor for 38 years. just to explain, i made an effort in this letter to say i know not every member of congress is a lawyer or a prosecutor. i sent in my letter the history of the legislative process between the judiciary and executive branches. i think it's important that when someone receives a subpoena and they can't comply because of redakr redactions, there is a way to handle this without threatening all the people of contempt, which is a crime. if there are differences of opinion, read the letter, understand what needs to be done historicall historically. i can assure you, mr. chairman, i'm working with a really superb
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team, some of the best lawyers in the country, career, political appointees. we are not in contempt of this congress and we are not going to be in contempt of this congress. thank you. >> thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. bass, for five minutes. oh, okay. the ranking member advises me that mr. cicillini has a pressing need to go first. >> thank you, and thank the gentlelady from california. thank you to our witnesses for being here, and we're here today because the fbi violated a longstanding policy of not commenting on anything relate to do an ongoing criminal intelligence investigation in the summer of 2016. this resulted in a year and a half investigation, a 500-page exhaustive ig report and it's concurrent in the house alone. there was a six-hour hearing
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with the ig on this policy. yes, our republican colleague spent 11 hours trying to get the fbi to violate this same policy. and today the deputy attorney general and the fbi director have been brought before us in an attempt by our friends on the other side of the aisle to violate this policy all over again. all of this is to undermine the special counsel and to protect president trump. i'll say at the outset, it is my hope and prayer, and i know the prayer of the american people, for the sake of our country. i appreciate the oath you've taken no matter how much bullying you endure in an effort to get you to release the letter. whether it's by threats or public hearing such as this. they said the fbi and the doj are not in the constitution, but the president and congress are,
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so you must yield to us. i remember the chir respectfully and i remind both of you, skbra, you must not bow to us in a way which would make you defy the president of the united states. we're having an emergency hearing on the clinton e-mails. we're not having a hearing on the corruption, the elections security which is so essential for upcoming election, the family separation policy which is ripping children from their parents, failure to pass the dream act or discuss the scourge of gun violence in america. i spent many years as a criminal against lawyer. it would have been a really clever and very useful thing if i had the ability to demand information about an ongoing investigation during the course of that investigation. i never thought to do that because, of course, it's so obvious you are not entitled to that. so this notion of making these
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demands in the hopes that you will continue to honor your oath and deny them and they will use that as a pretext, as mr. gutierrez said, to take some action against you is something we should all guard against very closely. there have been -- there remain out 18 outstanding indictments, five guilty pleas from the deputy campaign manager, the top security adviser among others. you have already said our country was attacked in order to influence the outcome of our election. my first question is, are former adversaries, including russia, continuing to attempt to interfere with our next election? >> congressman, it is, i think, the consensus of the intelligence community that the russian foreign powers will continue to look for ways to influence our populous. whether or not they would attempt to interfere with our election in the sense that many laypeople think of it is an open
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question. certainly there is plenty of information to show they continue to look for ways to try to avoid us and undermine the faith of the american people in a democracy we hold so dear. >> do you recall, deputy attorney general, for all the demands of information. have our colleagues written to you and asked for information that are made to protect the united states against any foreign offense? >> the fbi, i know, has provided numerous briefings. as the deputy attorney general mentioned, i created a task force dedicated to this topic, and while i can't speak specifically to -- because i don't remember -- which committee they've done what with. i know we've provided a lot of briefings. i personally addressed the
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subject. zrp we'll continue to monitor this hearing. pretty explosive. once again republican members of the house judiciary committee going after christopher wray, and rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, for not complying with what they want, specific information that happened during the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. former deputy of state, national adviser during the obama administration carrie cordero is with us as well. the president is weighing in on this investigation as well. let me read a tweet that he wrote earlier this morning. peter strzok -- he's the fbi agent who has now been accused of interfering on hillary clinton's behalf against donald trump during the investigation. peter strzok worked as a leader in the illegal witch hunt for a
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long period of time. he got it started. was only fired because the gig was up. but remember, he took his orders from comey and mccabe who was the deputy fbi director and they took their orders from you know who, mccabe and comey, best friends. >> if we start in the back with comey and mueller are friend, that's just made up. they worked for many years together in the justice department, but there is no reason to think they're friends. they conducted an investigation of the strzok e-mails, of the interactions he had with colleagues that came out in these text messages, and the inspector general concluded that there was no indication that the person views of these individuals, including peter strzok, had influenced decision making in the investigation. so despite the fact the president and his political allies in congress continue to try to find something, some document, some statement
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somewhere that supports their theory that peter strzok's personal views affected the investigation, the inspector general says otherwise. >> listen to trey gowdy, one of the republicans who is really going after these justice department and fbi officials. listen to him complain about the length of the mueller investigation. >> we've seen the vibes. we need to see the evidence. if you have evidence in the trump campaign, present it to the damn grand jury. if you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately, present it to the american people. there is an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. i think right now all of us are being denied. whatever you got, finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart. >> rod rosenstein, he responded
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by saying, i don't think as these sort of investigations go that it's actually been going on for a long time. i can assure you that director mueller understands i want him to conclude it as expeditiously as possible, it went on for six or seven years. iran-contra during the reagan administration, that went on for at least 2.5 years. this has been going on for one year. >> that's right. the irony of mr. gowdy making the accusation when he himself pursued the benghazi investigation well beyond the sell-by date speaks for itself. >> let me correct myself. 2.5 years for the benghazi investigation as you correctly point out. iran-contra went on for six or seven years like the whitewater investigation during the clinton administration. what's your bottom line assessment of what's going on now in the house judiciary committee? >> i think it's clear.
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it's very clear that this is an effort to discredit the fbi, to discredit the justic department, and ultimately to discredit the mueller investigation. no matter what mr. mueller brings forward, he and anyone involved in the investigation are somehow delegitimized. as a result, whatever they find is delegitimatized. it's been clear it's been going on for a long time. today is just another chapter in that long-standing effort. >> go ahead. >> wolf, the investigation has already produced results. we've had the campaign chairman indicted. the former national security adviser plead guilty to make false statements. we've had numerous pleas in terms of people making false statements. in the short time for a long counterintelligence and criminal enterprise investigation that this investigation has taken place, it is already producing results, and we know there's going to be more coming from the mueller investigation. >> something i thought was interesting -- at 8:00 a.m. eastern time here in washington, the white house together with the kremlin released the joint announcement that there would be
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a summit meeting between president trump, president putin, and helsinki on july 16th. that's an historic, important meeting to be sure. about a half hour, though, before the official announcement, the president tweeted this -- russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election. once again, the president casting doubt on the suspicion concluded during the obama administration continued by the trump administration that russia was interfering in the 2016 presidential election. i'll ask you what i asked congressman schiff earlier -- why is the president seemingly alone on this issue? >> wolf, i wish i knew. and all i can say is hearing him say this once again is like believing the fox who insists he's never set foot in the hen house with his mouth full of feathers as he says it. believing mr. putin on this when we know across the board from every intelligence agency and
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law enforcement agency that the russians melded in the election is hard to fathom. whether it's simply because the president thinks that playing into that undermines his ability to develop a better relationship with mr. putin or whether it undermines the credibility of the election that brought him into office or if there's something else going on, i don't know. i hope we'll find out. it also reinforces deep concerns among the allies that the president is going off first to a nato summit and then to the summit with mr. putin, and it's going to be a repeat of what we saw a couple of weeks ago when he went to the g7 and bashed our allies and went to the summit with kim jong-un and embraced a dictator. they're worried about a repeat of exactly that. >> what he tweeted, russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election -- we went back, if we have the exchange, the clips of what the president has said over the past year, two years, about this allegation. if we do, let's play that. we don't have that. this isn't the first time the president has made the
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assertion. >> this is all he says, that he accepts vladimir putin's statement that it didn't occur. january, 2017, the intelligence community says russia did this. earlier this year, joint bipartisan intelligence committee issued an interim report that they did this. this month, donald trump's appointee confirmed by the senate, dni dan coates, director of intelligence, gave a speech in normandy said that russia did this and are continuing on a long-term basis. not just related to the midterm elections, but they have a long-term strategic intent to influence democracies in western europe, the united states, and continue to affect elections. this is a fact. and the fact that the president continues to deny it only raises questions about whether the steps that he takes in national security are in america's interests, or whether there is something else out there that is influencing his behavior. >> we heard christopher wray,
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the fbi director, whom president trump also nominated, was confirmed, say that the russians are trying to sow dissent expect discord in the united states through these activities. stick around, we're continuing to follow the breaking news. at&t provides edge-to-edge intelligence, covering virtually every part of your manufacturing business. & so this won't happen. because you've made sure this sensor and this machine are integrated. & she can talk to him, & yes... atta, boy. some people assign genders to machines. and you can be sure you won't have any problems. except for the daily theft of your danish. not cool! at&t provides edge to edge intelligence. it can do so much for your business, the list goes on and on. that's the power of &. & this shipment will be delivered...
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let's go. thank you for being here with me. fireworks today on capitol hill. deputy attorney general rod rosenstein and fbi director christopher wray testifying before the house judiciary committee. lawmakers have been grilling these two metropolitan on an array of top -- two men on an array of topics. it has been extremely heated between republican lawmakers and rosenstein. let's continue to listen in. >> documents so congress couldn't see that he was friends with pet strzok, that was someone else. but you have added pointedly to mr. jordan that i am the deputy
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attorney general, and you certainly are. but the actions of your subordinates which are all employees of the department of justice, aren't you vouching for those? don't those people sponrespond you? >> those people ultimately report to me. yes, sir. >> and that would include when bruce orr's office was next to you and worked for you? >> he worked in the attorney general's office, a couple of doors down, yes. >> a couple of doors down. we're aware of some of the events that took place before your confirmation as the deputy attorney general. however, some of your team members certainly were involved. i want to ask was sheena t -- i'm sorry, trisha anderson